Photograph of Gerald W. Norman
Gerald Norman was born on June 2, 1894 in Kirkwood Illinois. A graduate of Macomb High School, Norman came to Knox in the fall of 1912. A strong athlete, Norman participated in football (as a 3-year quarterback), baseball, and basketball during his time at school, as well as receiving physical education instruction from Knox's athletic director. Immersing himself in many other facets of college life, Norman was one of the most involved students in his class, taking leadership positions in Phi Delta Theta and Delta Sigma Ro, as well as being a prominent orator, debater, and writer. Quite a few Knox professors spoke of Norman with the highest praise, and when he graduated in 1915, Norman easily secured an Illinois High School Teacher’s Certificate, and just as quickly, a position as a teacher in Macomb High School. In two short years, he was elected principal.
When war was declared, Norman left his position at Macomb in May of 1917 for army training at Fort Sheridan in Illinois. He was quickly promoted to first lieutenant in the 57th Infantry, and in August was sent to Texas for duty. Shortly after the war ended, he was transferred to Camp Pike in Arkansas, where he was stricken with bronchial pneumonia, and he died on January 19, 1919. Camp Pike released a statement upon Norman's death that read, "The whole regiment mourns the death of First Lieutenant Gerald William Norman, Acting Regimental Personnel Adjutant. Through sense of duty and love of regiment, he laughingly persisted at grinding work long after he should have been in the hospital. Then, with tight lips and smiling eyes, he stubbornly fought the virulent infection which finally killed but could not conquer him 'who had done his work and held his peace and had no fear to die.'"